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Jon Huntsman's Very Good Twitter Day

BY Micah L. Sifry | Friday, August 19 2011

It may not mean much for Jon Huntsman's dark horse candidacy, but his tweet yesterday stating his belief in evolution and global warming science has earned a whopping 3,600 re-tweets. According to Adam Green of 140Elect.com, that's a new record for the GOP field and tops Sarah Palin's best tweet by more than 50%. Green writes:

What’s the value of a hot tweet and tons of retweets? It translates directly into new followers, and new followers are a chance for a candidate to reach more people with fundraising requests. Yesterday @JonHuntsman gained 4,275 followers. The only candidate to ever top that in a single day was Rick Perry on his announcement day. Huntsman managed to increase his total follower count by 32% with just 90 characters, making it the most effective tweet we’ve ever seen from a politician.

To be sure, some of the people RTing @jonhuntsman did so to ridicule the rest of the Republican field, along the lines of @justinmy, who tweeted, "Huntsman is a maverick in GOP because he believes in science. And consequently, has no chance to win nomination..."

But Huntsman's 90 characters -- can we call this a sound-tweet? -- also earned him several column inches of mainstream coverage from papers like the New York Times, which noted that his statement was a deliberate effort at distancing from newcomer Rick Perry, who has expressed his disbelief in global warming. All in all, a very good day for Huntsman online and off.

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